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December 2, 2022 – Vancouver, BC – Today, Gitxaala Nation, through Gitxaala Enterprises Corporation, partners with Seaspan Marine Corporation (Seaspan) to announce the official launch of their Prince Rupert ship escort and docking service.

Beginning January 1, 2023, the partnership between Gitxaala Nation and Seaspan will have modern, high efficiency 65T bollard tugs stationed at Prince Rupert. These tugs will be crewed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will be available for ship docking and ship escort in the region. This new service in Prince Rupert complements Seaspan’s existing fleet in Vancouver, Roberts Bank and Vancouver Island.

Gitxaala Nation has unlimited knowledge of the rugged west coast having lived, fished and navigated these waters for millenniums. For over 130 years, Seaspan has been an integral part of British Columbia’s waterways by providing ship assist and escort service between Alaska and Mexico. Both partners offer vast experience and knowledge as mariners navigating these waters, making Seaspan a more dependable option for marine services in the coastal British Columbia.


“The Gitxaała, also known as People of the Saltwater, are one of the most ancient societies on the coast and we continue to celebrate our history, practice our traditions cherish our lands, waters and resources. This new relationship with Seaspan will ensure our people can use our knowledge and experience in our traditional territory while developing long-term jobs and economic opportunities right here at home.”

-Linda Innes, Gitxaala Nation Chief Councillor

“Gitxaala Enterprises Corporation continues to expand its partnerships in the marine sector. Vital partnerships such as this one with Seaspan, will provide sustainable development and economic opportunities for the Gitxaala nation. As ‘People of the Saltwater,’ Gitxaala members are experienced mariners and want to be able to use their knowledge of the water.

Michael Uehara, CEO Gitxaala Enterprises Corporation

“Seaspan is excited to be partnering with the Gitxaala Nation to expand our services along the North Coast of British Columbia. As the largest and most diverse tug & barge company in the province, we are looking forward to offering carriers and terminals in the Prince Rupert region an alternative choice to satisfy their operational needs.

– Peter Lister, Senior Vice-President of Business Development and Commercial Services, Seaspan Marine


Gitxaała territories stretch from the Nass River to Aristazabel Island, on the north coast of what is now British Columbia. The Gitxaała, also known as Git Lax M’oon, People of the Saltwater are one of the most ancient societies on the coast. The village of Lach Klan (Kitkatla, BC) has been continuously inhabited since time immemorial. Gitxaała hereditary leaders from the four clans, Gisputwada, Ganhada, Lax’sgiik and Laxgibuu, manage and protect their territories and resources according to their ayaawx, traditional laws. Gitxaała harvesters rely on a 100 different marine and terrestrial resources to feed their community. The people of Gitxaala have been navigating these waters for millenniums and have extensive knowledge of the rugged coast and the balance needed to live on it. Gitxaała people, wherever they reside, celebrate their history, practice their traditions, respect their laws, and cherish their lands, waters, and resources.


Seaspan Marine Transportation is a group of Canadian companies that are primarily involved in ship assist, coastal and deep-sea transportation, ferry services and fuel bunkering on the west coast of North America. With well over a century of successful participation in coastal commerce, Seaspan is a major partner in the Pacific Northwest marine economy. Seaspan is ISO certified, has in-house training simulators and has partnered with Seaways Global to develop the only Lloyd’s-approved training program for mariners.


Ali Hounsell

Mary Denton